Green Beans

We planted some green beans this year in containers, two different varieties, the names I don’t remember.  One is a bush variety, the other the kind that has to grow up a trellis.  When BD and I returned from our Pacific Northwest Idyll I went out to check on things in our still-crappy backyard and garden only to discover that our bush green beans had sprouted with lovely, slender young beans.  The Bug happened to be with me as I was doing this, so we enjoyed snacking on the beans straight off the bush.  The small, crunchy beans were the perfect size for the boy, so we harvested most of them, had more raw ones with our dinner, and ate some more straight off the bush as a morning snack the next day before getting in the car and heading off to daycare & work. The tall trellis-growing beans aren’t ready yet.

All of this gave me the jones to put in a much bigger garden next spring.  I have visions of me and The Bug eating all kinds of fresh produce straight off our plants.  This year, besides the container green beans, we’ve been doing container tomatoes, which are coming along as well as basically neglected tomato plants can (I water them, but that’s it, no special food or supplements or bug protection), and the usual array of planter-box herbs: oregano, mint, cilantro, parsley, sage, rosemary, basil, dill.  But we have plans to build a large and long row of raised planting beds along the east side of our driveway, where there is about a 4 x 20 foot long stretch of essentially useless space.  We have built these kind of beds before when we were in graduate school.

One of the tricks is that most weather-resistant lumber is treated with arsenic, and that’s something you don’t want leaching into the soil you’re growing food in.  So we have to search for untreated lumber or line the beds with plastic before putting in the soil, which is what we did in our old beds.  The other trick is to plant things that we aren’t already swamped by in our CSA box.  So cucumbers and other summer squash aren’t a great idea.  Whereas green beans are, and tomatoes, or eggplants, or bell peppers.  We get all of those things in the box, but in small quantities.  Strawberries or other fruit would also be great.

Boy, I can’t wait for next summer!  Can we just skip winter?  And all the snow (and teaching) we’ll have to endure between now and then?

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2 Responses to “Green Beans”


  1. 1 Cathy August 3, 2009 at 6:05 pm

    Hi! Nothing to say about green bean planting, I’m afraid, though I admire your gardening savvy. Just wanted to say that I clicked through here from Ask Moxie when I read your response to her query about improving emotional health, since I felt like I could have written it myself: six years of grad school have lead to a good job teaching at a good school and a home in a place I really like, and yet I’ve rarely been more anxious and unsettled in my life. As you say, I’d quit the job if I were sure the anxiety were externally motivated — but what if it’s just… me? So every day I leave my two-year-old daughter home with my husband so I can go sit in my office and not write my book, wishing I were at playgroup instead. The worst of it is knowing that I have a sweet deal and not knowing why it is I don’t feel better about it. Well, no: the worst of it is having to write a freaking book, but the second worst is knowing that I really should be grateful for the chance to do so.

    Anyway. Hi, and good luck!

    • 2 shoopee August 4, 2009 at 8:59 pm

      Cathy,
      Thanks for your message — though I would not wish our mutual job ambivalence on anyone, it’s kind of nice to know I’m not the only one in academia who is feeling this way. I TOTALLY hear you on all points — knowing you have it good, feeling guilty that you have it good, feeling guilty that you’re not with your kid, feeling guilty when you are instead of reading your book. It’s a mindfuck fer sure.
      You can email me a shoopee at gmail dot com if you want to keep in touch.


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